Trial proceeds for Azerbaijani ministry’s ex-official charged with embezzlement
The Baku Court of Grave Crimes on Wednesday continued the trial in the criminal case involving Vidadi Zeynalov, head of the Office of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, and other people arrested alongside him.
The trial was presided over by judge Afgan Hajiyev.
Speaking at the trial, a representative of the Ministry of Taxes noted that the ministry refused the civil action filed against the accused persons.
According to him, “Rabite Mulki Tikinti” LLC, headed by defendant Emin Mammadov, and “Temir Techizat Servis” LLC, headed by defendant Bayram Valiyev, do not owe any tax.
Then some witnesses testified at the trial. Witness Hasan Orujov said he had been worked as head of the Aghstafa branch since 2004 and confirmed the testimony he had given during the preliminary investigation.
Witness Vagif Hajiyev, who was former head of a construction company, noted that he transferred the funds, allocated after winning tenders, to defendant Ogtay Rustamov.
Rustamov in turn refuted Hajiyev’s claim. “I knew this man since 2007. I don’t want to name anyone, let him tell whom he gave the money,” he said.
Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov stressed that witness Vagif Hajiyev took part in tenders under the minister’s instruction.
Then the judge informed about the applications submitted to the court in connection with some witnesses. He said one of witnesses left the country due to the non-payment of alimony, another witness died and some did not take part at the trial due to health reasons.
Vidadi Zeynalov stressed the need to consider more serious issues at the trial. “There are many unclear points in the indictment which need to be dealt with,” he said.
The judge offered Vidadi Zeynalov to give testimony, however, the latter said he will testify after some financial issues on the case are investigated.
Later, it was said that a new lawyer has been appointed to represent Beytulla Huseynov.
Answering the lawyer’s questions, Huseynov said the minister gave consent for the work done.
Other defendant Bayram Valiyev said that he had official permission to attend the tenders. He noted that all planned work has been done.
Beytulla Huseynov’s lawyer asked Bayram Valiyev questions about exaggeration of the prices related to the work done. Valiyev refused to answer the questions.
Then Witness Nuraddin Karimov, who worked as head of the Samukh telephone exchange, testified, confirming the testimony he had given during the preliminary ivestiagtion.
The trial will be resumed on Feb. 15.
A series of investigative operations had discovered that in 2009-2015, the director general of Baku Telephone Network Production Association Beytulla Huseynov, entered into a criminal conspiracy with the director of “Bakı Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Temir Techizat Servis” companies Bayram Valiyev, the director of "3 nomreli Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Rabite Mulki Tikinti” companies Emin Mammadov and the chief accountant of the Baku Telephone Network Production Association Anar Mustafayev, gave them a project for the implementation of works on the new telephone lines and installation of new equipment. According to the agreement concluded between them, 35-45% are listed on the accounts of these companies means then had to be returned in cash to Beytullah Huseynov. After that Beytullah Huseynov, abusing official powers and organizing sham tenders issued forged documents, which indicated that the work for the fiber-optic lines for the Internet were carried out by companies controlled by him, though in reality, these works were carried out by local telephone networks. Because of these machinations Beytulla Huseynov misappropriated 21,379,000 of 71,263 million manats, transfers to accounts controlled by him LLC. However, investigators have reason to suspect that the head of the ministry’s Office, Vidadi Zeynalov, processing government orders to close the company itself and increasing their value by 4-5 times, misappropriated 73.59 million manats.
The investigation revealed cases of appropriation of budgetary funds and forgery in “Aztelekom” LLC, “AzİnTelekom” LLC, Center for information and calculations, “Optik Rabite Tikinti ve Qurashdırma”.
The director general of Baku Telephone Network Production Association Beytulla Huseynov, the director of “Bakı Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Temir Techizat Servis” companies Bayram Valiyev, the director of "3 nomreli Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Rabite Mulki Tikinti” companies Emin Mammadov and the chief accountant of the Baku Telephone Network Production Association Anar Mustafayev are charged under articles 179.3.2 (embezzlement on a large scale), 308.2 (abuse of power) and 313 (forgery) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Head of the Ministry Vidadi Zeynalov, general director of LLC "AzİnTelekom" Jalil Jafarov, the general director of LLC “Azerpocht” Gambar Beybalayev, Director LLC "Optik Rabite, Tikinti ve Qurashdırma" Namazali Mammadov faced charges under articles 179.3.2 and 308.2, and chief accountant of the Company Sahrab Humbetov - under articles 179.3.2, 308.2 and 313. For all of those persons elected to the arrest as a preventive measure.
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